Have you always dreamt of saying your vows on a sandy beach, the crystal-clear blue waters lapping at your feet?
Are you planning a fairy tale wedding in Greece, but you are worried about your budget?
As a wedding celebrant in Greece I travel all around the country writing and officiating unique destination wedding ceremonies, so I have seen a lot. Here I would like to share some wedding ideas and inspiration for any couple planning a wedding in Greece.
Just the two of us- Intimate elopement wedding
You know the old song right, vocals by the late Bill Withers. Well you can get married in Greece, just the two of you! Described as an intimate elopement wedding, these days there is nothing last minute about this type of wedding. Some couples choose not to tell their family and friends about their plans, some do. An intimate wedding like this can be so romantic, so emotional, unforgettable, and can be held almost anywhere. Top tip, yes you do need a photographer and a videographer, so your family and friends get the chance to share the memories of your special day.
Small weddings, with your nearest and dearest-micro wedding.
How about planning a tiny wedding? Just you and a few close friends? There is no reason why you can’t have a micro wedding in Greece and then a family party to celebrate when you get back home. Top tip here, book a villa and have your intimate ceremony in the garden, with a stylish party to celebrate. You can also live stream your wedding to your family and friends back home.
Your own big, fat Greek style wedding on a budget
There are many amazing wedding venues to choose from in Greece; stunning villas, sandy beaches, hotels and yachts, to name just a few, where you can have your one of a kind destination wedding. Prices for destination weddings can vary wildly from place to place. You will need a decent budget to consider the Islands of Santorini or Mykonos or alternatively one of the fabulous 5* venues on the mainland on the Athenian Riviera.
However, there are literally hundreds of Greek Islands to choose from when planning your destination wedding in Greece. If you are working with a tight budget, research the Islands well. Smaller, less commercial, not so touristy, there are Greek Islands to be discovered that could literally save you hundreds if not thousands of your hard earned budget.
Wedding planner or not?
I am a big fan of all wedding planners in Greece. It isn’t an easy job, making all the arrangements for a wedding, to ensure that every couple has the wedding of their dreams, whilst at the same time entertaining, accommodating, feeding and transferring all their family and friends. Coordinating a long list of local suppliers for every wedding and submitting all the official papers for a civil ceremony. Cutting out the wedding planner can be a false economy.
Of course, you can plan your own wedding in Greece. There is a vast array of suppliers online, photographers, restaurants, entertainers, sound and light, florists, cake makers, you name it, the wedding industry is massive. If you are doing your own thing, then you need do the ‘leg’ work and spend hours on research. Top tip, most couples who are planning their own wedding, appoint a family friend to help, someone to share some of the work load leading up to the wedding and perhaps more importantly somebody who can make sure everything runs smoothly on the day.
Official civil ceremony or Celebrant led symbolic ceremony in Greece?
Now this really is a matter of personal choice and is less about the budget and more about how you say your vows at your destination wedding in Greece. The official paperwork required to have a legal marriage in Greece, varies from area to area, Island to Island, and of course the list of requirements, depends on your country of origin. In many cases it is quite an easy process, however a wedding planner is a definite plus.
The various translations and official Apostille stamps required can be pricey. The official ceremony itself will be led by the local Mayor, or their representative, it is a short simple script which takes about 10 minutes. This type of ceremony is typical of most of the Official wedding venues in Greece and is often not well described online.
If you just hate the idea of an official script and the additional stress of putting together a whole load of official documents then, you could choose a professional celebrant to write and officiate a special symbolic wedding ceremony just for you. Will it feel symbolic? Definitely not!
In this case you will need to submit NO paperwork at all as there will be no legal documentation done on the day. Most couples choosing this type of wedding, will do the official paperwork back home before travelling to Greece at their local registry office, and then will celebrate this marriage with a symbolic wedding ceremony in Greece.
No expensive paperwork and your ceremony your way, with no venue restrictions. For any LGBTQ couples considering a destination wedding, don’t let the missing Greek legislation on official marriage stop you from planning your dream wedding in Greece. A celebrant led ceremony can be so much better anyway! Yes, I know I am biased, as a wedding celebrant in Greece, there is nothing I love more than writing and officiating wedding ceremonies in Greece with a difference.
Sarah Hatjipavlis-Grecian Ceremonies-Celebrant in Greece-Creating lifelong memories